“Where can I buy a yukata?” This is a question I often hear from my guests, and I did some research about this. However, before talking about the shops, let me talk about some basic information about yukata.
First of all, do you know the differences between yukata and kimono? If I write down the difference very simply, it may look like this. (*Not always applicable to all the products though)
yukata: inexpensive, casual, nice for summer, easier to put on
kimono: expensive, formal, all seasons, very difficult to put on (you need to take lessons)
Perhaps, some of you already know the difference and chose to buy a yukata. Okay. That’s a good start! Yet, you should know a little more fact about yukata. Do you think anyone can put on an authentic yukata without any practice? If so, please check out these YouTube videos by UNIQLO UK.
What do you think? Looks easy? Even for yukata, you need some technique. Then what should we do?
Well, if you’re really into Japanese culture and don’t mind learning the technique by taking a class or viewing YouTube etc., then you can do it! I myself learned how to put on a yukata and I can put it on without any assistance.
However, if you don’t have that patience, but still want to put on a yukata by yourselves for parties or festivals, then you could buy an easy-to-put-on yukata which is something like Ryokan (Japanese-style inns) offers. Wrap yourself (left over right), tie an obi sash, and done! I found this YouTube video by japantravelogue. This will give you some idea of what it’s like to put on a yukata at a Japanese Ryokan.
Recently, I visited a shop at Nakamise Shopping Street in Asakusa and found a good place for buying this type of yukata.
Here is the shop information.
KAZUSA-YA 1-18-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
The shop has some nice selections of authentic yukata too, but as they know that a lot of foreign tourists get frustrated with difficult yukata, they offer easy-to-put-on ones.
An easy-to-put-on yukata for 3,500-3,700 yen and an obi sash belt for 950 yen.
Not only white, they have some other colors.
A difficult yukata set with an obi sash (belt) and geta (wooden flip flops) for 6,500 yen.
If you want to buy a high-quality authentic yukata in summer, you should check out some department stores (MARUI, DAIMARU, MITSUKOSHI, 109, ISETAN etc) or gofukuya (Japanese traditional clothing store). However, please do make sure if it’s easy-to-put-on or not. A high-quality yukata would cost somewhere from 10,000 yen (more than 100 USD) to 50,000 yen (more than 500 USD), so if you cannot wear it after you go home, that’ll be a disaster!! Therefore, please make sure which types of yukata you really wish to buy.
By the way, this is my Malaysian friend wearing my yukata, a very authentic one.
I haven’t worn this yukata for a very long time, so I should probably practice before I forget the technique.
You could actually buy a Yukata at Narita Airport or Haneda Airport. So it may be a good idea to arrive at the airport early and enjoy shopping. These airports have so many different kinds of shops and restaurants. You could spend hours. Please DO mind your departure time!
*Please feel free to comment below with other experiences or information!